Early interventionCoping, curing or cultivating early intervention and prevention. Can ealier interventiosn be a game changer for our public services? This is our Strategic Solution consultancy report on early intervention.

For many of our services, it could be said that the best service is less or no service.  This may seem contentious but when addressed in the context of prevention/remedy it does make sense.

In many areas we spend significant amounts of public money on complex remedial services, but comparatively little on early intervention.  There is a growing will to re-dress this imbalance by placing more emphasis on early intervention.  Some of the more costly and complex services exist because early intervention and prevention hasn’t been effective.

“The concept driving earlier intervention is that by acting sooner a worse outcome is avoided – the principle of ‘a stitch in time saving nine’ or ‘prevention is better than cure.”[1]

Key questions addressed in this opinion piece include:

  • The game changer?  What are the arguments for early intervention?
  • Changing people’s lives – start early!  Why it matters and where does it matter the most?
  • A shift in the centre of gravity.  What do we mean by early intervention and prevention?
  • Understanding early intervention and prevention.  What types of interventions are available?
  • The intervention continuum.  How do interventions relate to each other?
  • Protection and recovery interventions.  How can the delay between early interventions, and receiving their benefits, be reconciled in a time of difficult financial constraints?
  • Types of intervention – the evidence base.  What is the evidence base that earlier intervention works?
  • Don’t be late with early interventions.  How important is timing?
  • Demanding early intervention strategies.  How can we implement appropriate strategies?
Whilst not being a panacea for all social problems, earlier interventions do offer a very different prospect for public services. This report helps you to assess the potential in your services and begin to change the balance in our public services.

[1] Issues in Earlier Intervention, June Statham and Marjorie Smith, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London (2010).